Lab Notes

What Does “Data-Driven” Really Mean? Three Things to Consider.

Data is only as valuable as the insights you pull from it. That’s why smart business leaders look at data not as a thing they should collect, but rather as fuel for action.

Marketing agencies and business consultants will tell you — rightly — that being “data-driven” is a requirement in the current marketplace. Startups and established enterprises alike can use data as tinder for great business decisions. But quickly and efficiently implementing a data-driven methodology is not easy, and getting it wrong can be lead to negative results. Take a step back and see if you’re following these fundamental data-driven practices.

FOCUS

Being productively data-driven means leaning into the information that matters most. What is it specifically that you need to accomplish? Think about numbers and data points related to your goal (e.g., awareness? customer acquisition? user retention?). More importantly, don’t be distracted by the innumerable measures that aren’t relevant to your goal. Too often businesses leaders get sidetracked by what they can measure and lose focus on what should be measured to support the overall business strategy.

COLLABORATION

Being a data-driven organization requires a broad understanding of how insights are being generated and what they mean for the business at-large. Do not let this wisdom live in a silo. Create a more holistic understanding by using data to show all teams how their actions are interrelated. For example: If acquisition is down, is the marketing strategy too focused on referral? If satisfaction rates are surging, can we credit the development team for bug fixes? Help everyone understand how their work shows up in the form of data insights.

ACTION

Looking at data doesn’t end with lessons learned. The important part is putting those insights to work by optimizing your customers’ experience based on what you see. That cannot happen if you do not have the will, the people, and the permission to do so. No matter what you hope to achieve through smarter application of data, get leaders and decision-makers on your side from the get-go, and strive to be clear at every step about how different kinds of insights can be acted upon.

CONCLUSION:

With the ubiquity of digital information, being data-driven can be overwhelming to start. Approaching it with the right mindset will help you choose the best metrics to monitor, make smart decisions, and prioritize opportunities around your business goals.

At GoKart, we love to help businesses think (or rethink) about how to get more out of their data. to learn more about how we do it, click here.

Reid is a Data Scientist, Statistician, and Mathematician at GoKart Labs. He's a data-driven thinker and problem solver who uses his knowledge to help clients and organizations make the best possible decision about digital products, user experiences, and marketing techniques.

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